Tuesday, 1 December 2009

news for 29th nov: a fantastic few hours at the marina from 12.45-3.30 produced 11 leach's petrels. several birds were very close in affording some brilliant views. the only other bird of note was a little gull at the base of the E arm.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009



yday: this bonxie was washed up on brighton beach.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

2 wrynecks were found at the north end of sheepcote today. 1 by the 3 caravans and 1 in the SE corner of the old bmx track. though fairly close together the time period between the findings and general circumstances indicate two birds. it was actually not a bad day out considering i got there late due to work cancellation but more on this later when i have me notebook, its just dross anyways.

update: other sightings during the day included 1000's of hirundines, 100's of meadow pipits, 67 blackcaps, 30 chiffs, 30 whinchats, 16 stonechats, 8 redstarts, 5 wheatears, 2 grey wags, 2 lesser whites and singles of reed warbler, sedge warbler, yellow wag, reed bunting and little owl. the latter is a good bird here and the first record for a few years despite being present at ovingdean.

Saturday, 12 September 2009







updating the blog continues to be fairly slow due to lack of internet. the month started with a dotterel at balsdean during the week. On the 10th, an afterwork visit to sheepcote produced 2 redstart, 4 spot fly, 10 whinchat, 30+ blackcaps and 20+ willow warblers along with a wryneck that had been found earlier in the day. Y'day got off to a good start with the stiff NE's producing plenty of migrants from the start (though very little flying over) and a mornings tally of 55 willow/chiffs, 30 blackcaps, 6 crossbills, 8 spot flys, 13 whinchats, 2 redstarts, hobby and firecrest was topped by the finding of a juvenile rose coloured starling, a first for sheepcote. An elusive bird initially present for 20 mins, it was not seen again for many hours but was finally enjoyed(?!) by several observers when it was relocated during the afternoon as it joined a highly mobile and skulking flock of starlings. (cheers for the photo jake)

Sunday, 9 August 2009

it has been estimated that there were somewhere in the region of 120,000 painted ladies in the field near ditchling beacon. see here: http://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/sightings.html

Friday, 31 July 2009

a true spectacle was witnessed this evening. Halfway along the road to ditchling beacon there is a small field of thistles and in it are literally thousands upon thousands of painted ladies.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

geat news, the scarlet tiger i found on monday has been followed by daily sightings of up to three individuals including a mating pair. all are looking a bit worn now. apparently they died out in sussex in the 1920's and only got re-discovered last year with a sighting in eastbourne so its pretty exciting. see here: www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/sightings.html

Monday, 15 June 2009



at work today a scarlet tiger spent most of the day turning up in various locations around the garden. avian highlight though was a male honey buzzard over during the anoon.

Saturday, 6 June 2009



a red kite flew over sheepcote this morning and after several poor years it was nice to find 67 bee orchids there too.

Friday, 29 May 2009



this lime hawk moth was found on the way to work this morning.

Saturday, 23 May 2009



this elephant hawk moth emerged today from a chrysalis found during the week in the garden.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

a surprise sighting late this evening was a barn owl hunting over east brighton golf course, a rare bird in brighton. within a stones throw from sheepcote valley where there is only one confirmed record from oct 93. still desperately slow in the bushes.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

a red kite flew west over bevendean at 4.10pm.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

2 ring ouzels were at roedean very briefly this morning.

Thursday, 16 April 2009



an iceland gull off the marina this morning conveniently flew inshore and landed on the inner beach for a short while before flying off over the cliffs.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009



a redstart was at sheepcote this morning but due to the complete lack of other birds headed to the marina. lots of passerines in off in the brisk NE, mostly swallows but a close flock of 6 arctic terns, 6 velvet scoter, black tern and merlin were the highlights.

its a willow warbler.

Friday, 27 March 2009

an osprey flew over hove this afternoon.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

2 long eared owls were seen this morning with the rest of the time spent checking out various wet areas for little crake, jack snipe, bluethroat etc. wellies donned, the best we could muster was a single raven at glynde, a pair at pevensey levels and shit loads of buzzards all over the place. no jack snipes and not even a sniff of garganey.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

a male marsh harrier was at arlington res this evening.

Friday, 27 February 2009

an adult caspian gull was on the undercliff this evening.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

spent the day with ian barnard checking out various sites in the far east of the county. the main interest for me being the possibility of relocating the king eider (in sussex). pett was largely devoid of sea duck although a red throated diver was on one of the pools. a walk up the pannel valley produced 2 marsh harriers, plenty of med gulls, cetti's warbler and a very distant great grey shrike. 2 smart avocets and a marsh harrier were on the midrips with slav grebe and 2 scaup offshore. a few other bits and bobs were seen but annoyingly large gulls were few and far between.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

literally just finished work when i had a call about 3 waxwings in hollingdean, brighton. couldnt be arsed to begin with but was early enough to miss the traffic and got there in record time due to some very favourable traffic lights. the birds were perched high up with starlings and flew off about 5 mins later! cheers pete for use of the bins.

Monday, 16 February 2009





a day out with me bro and ian barnard produced a few bits and bobs but the king eider stubbenly decided not to cross the border into sussex. we started at jurys gap and walked east to the border but the eider was not even visible until we were well in kent. we sat it out for a few hours in the hope (for me at least) that it would come into sussex but had to make do with a 1st winter iceland gull drifting along the beach into sussex, hen and marsh harriers on the midrips and a long tailed duck, slav grebe and 10+ velvet scoter offshore. all scotney could offer was some whitefronts but news that the eider had flown west had us back at jurys gap. alas it was all a waste of time as the eider returned to galloways and had probably not flown far (if at all).

Saturday, 7 February 2009



actually twitched this chap on hove pitch and putt during the week. it was found by me bro and i couldnt resist having a gander. quite funny.

Monday, 2 February 2009

news for yday: 2 1st winter caspian gulls were found in the roost along the undercliff with 5+ yellow legged gulls, some very dark mantled common gulls (plus 2 still in largely juv plumage) and a whole host of other interesting looking gulls. no white wingers though.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009



this white winger was at hove lagoon this evening. luckily it was only 5 mins away from work and i was able to see it and return without anyone noticing.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

it all started on 11 jan with a king eider off pett! a sramble around for a car and a mad dash (with a woodcock thrown in) that afternoon was meet with completely useless birders and no king eider. the tide was on its way out and with only half hour of daylight left we scanned and scanned but found nothing, bollocks! the following day we were greated by strong winds and rain, great! again we scanned but found nothing. the highlight being a close great northern diver flying south plus other padders like velvet scoters, eiders and red throated divers (300) whilst the pools held an adult yellow legged gull. arlington failed to produce anything in the roost although the rain was so bad it was hard to see anything at all. so, the week goes by and there had been no sign of the eider all week until sat (17th) when i get a phone call from ian barnard informing me that the king eider was back, excellent! wrong! absolute shit! i'm in manchester! with me stuck 'op north' until the monday all i could do was not see some waxwings to make me feel better. the following day the eider was relocated off jurys gap and i once again failed to find any waxwings but a great distraction was a singing dipper (no jokes please), we dont get em in sussex so this was very pleasing, dont ever remember hearing a dipper sing, sounded like a sylvia warbler. there was no sign of the eider on the monday, the day i drove back to sussex, but was up early tuesday morning to be a jurys gap for dawn. 3 woodcocks were seen on the way out and it was light enough to stop at pett first. no sign, up the beach to winchelsea, no sign, along to jurys gap, no sign. there were however, lots of ducks off the midrips but the red flags were flying and access was impossible. a couple of normal eiders were seen and then i got a txt saying the eider flew past dungeness this morning! at least i knew it was still there. however, a dawn til dusk search going back and forth between jurys gap and pett failed to produce the goods and alas another dip. a couple of things worth jotting down were a great grey shrike at icklesham and a pair of marsh harriers and a man scaup at pett.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

bumping into pops along the undercliff was a blessing in disguise as 2 black necked grebes were found off ovingdean as we stood chatting. not that far out, they continued slowly w and were off the marina an hour later. certainly a good winter record here.

Thursday, 1 January 2009





a cycle out to southwick late morning produced a long tailed duck just offshore and a stupid redshank in the lock gates.